About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8413-8417
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.0962

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

CREATIVELY CONNECTING GLOBAL CLASSROOMS: STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES

K. Ingold1, T. Kapenuka2

1Anson High School (UNITED STATES)
2Namadidi Community Day Secondary School (MALAWI)
It’s easy to say we a are living in the world of technology, some call it the computer age, but it is a great concern because many Malawians have never touched a computer. On the other hand, 83.8% of households in the United States own some type of computer, tablet, or mobile device (File & Ryan, 2014). Therefore, creating a collaborative environment between two secondary classes that operate with vastly different resources is a challenge. The purpose of this project began as a pen pal service-learning project for American students to correspond to paired counterparts to help Malawians learn English and pass their Standard 8 Exam (Primary School Leaving Certificate Exams) which qualifies them to attend secondary school. Innovation and problem solving has allowed this partnership to embark into digital strategies. Students from a secondary school in Wadesboro, North Carolina have paired with a community day secondary school in Zomba, Malawi for cooperative learning through creative digital strategies. Malawian learners like to be exposed to emerging issues and someone good at computer technology is looked upon as being prestigious in status. Most learners are very curious to know more about technology and are more intrigued when a teacher has brought a device to class in which they are unfamiliar. Learners in the classroom would push each other to be up front, just to have the opportunity to press a key on the computer. This shows how curious Malawian learners are about technology. Secondary students in Wadesboro, North Carolina are issued a school laptop for academic use in the classroom as well as the home. These students master the operation of various software and platforms of both pc and mac computers. Engagement in the classroom is high and a wealth of information at their fingertips by wireless routers and stable high speed internet. Even though Wadesboro, the county seat of Anson County has one of the highest child poverty rates at 35.1 percent (US Census, 2013), grants and funding for low-income schools have provided many digital resources for these students. Many methods and strategies have been implemented to connect the class with multiple technologies available per student compared to the other classroom of multiple students utilizing two devices. These two devices are personal property of the Zomba teacher, in which he uses to teach some computer lessons to the students at a ratio of 40 students to one computer. A second challenge for any simultaneous interaction is the six to seven hour time zone span, depending on Daylight Savings Time. Malawian students dismiss from school as the American students arrive for their school day. Additionally, the location of the school in a remote Zomba rural area has no electricity and a weak cellular signal. The signal is not strong enough for any telecommunications such as skype. Therefore, asynchronous collaboration is necessary in this partnership. This partnership that began as a pen pal project and American students to learn about the Malawian culture has evolved into utilizing digital software such as a shared google drive, mobile phones with video and camera capabilities, multimedia software, and social media's periscope app. Various software has allowed for communication and sharing of cultural history between the two classes and instructors. As Malawi upgrades infrastructure for internet and cellular signals improves, this collaboration will expand and flourish.
@InProceedings{INGOLD2016CRE,
author = {Ingold, K. and Kapenuka, T.},
title = {CREATIVELY CONNECTING GLOBAL CLASSROOMS: STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.0962},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.0962},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {8413-8417}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Ingold AU - T. Kapenuka
TI - CREATIVELY CONNECTING GLOBAL CLASSROOMS: STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.0962
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 8413
EP - 8417
ER -
K. Ingold, T. Kapenuka (2016) CREATIVELY CONNECTING GLOBAL CLASSROOMS: STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 8413-8417.
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